My “Weight”

I’ve been a little tense lately.  I haven’t felt much like myself.  I’ve been feeling, heavy, in a way.  Like I’m carrying around a lot of stress, a lot of emotional weight.  At first I figured part of the problem was a lack of sleep and the general frustrations that come with having 2 young children.  I started thinking, “Things will get better when A goes back to school in September.”  But the truth is, I’m dealing with a lot more than having my kid home during the summer.

I feel there is a lot being asked of me right now.  In addition to a pregnancy/new baby…the whole thing was highly charged, emotionally, since it was right on the heels of losing the twins.  I still haven’t had a chance to come down from the emotional high I was on for the duration of my pregnancy.  Less than 2 weeks after C was born, there was a shitstorm with Hubs’ job and so began the process of him quitting and starting his own company.  It wasn’t as simple as turning in a resignation.  There were many things to manage, many things to consider…one of the biggest issues being my medical needs relating to my skin cancer diagnosis.  I find myself stuck at home a lot yet I still feel my house is a disaster.  I can’t seem to get anything cleaned during the day.  I don’t manage to get out of the house much…it’s not easy.  Plus, I’ve cut my spending dramatically in order to preserve our savings as long as possible.  I rarely get “me” time.  The Hubs and I haven’t had a date in I don’t know how long…hell, most nights we don’t even really talk.  Strangely enough, even though he’s not traveling and is working from home, we seem to have much less time together than before.  He works all the time and after the girls are asleep (a whole ‘nother problem) I just want some alone/quiet time to surf the web, catch up on my blogs/message boards and spend some time without someone needing or wanting something from me.  Or touching me.  Bedtime in this house is a disaster.  If A doesn’t nap…she’s a bear.  If she does nap, she won’t go to sleep at night.  C goes down pretty easily, but is awake within 30 minutes needing to be rocked back to sleep.  She’s still up at least twice a night to eat and about 50% of the time, she won’t settle down and go back to sleep.  For example…she was up at 4:45 this morning.  Bedtime just adds to my frustration that has mounded up during the day and by about 8pm, I’m ready to run out of the house screaming.  It’s like the straw that breaks the camels back every.single.day.

But I signed up for all of this and I own it.

Nothing on my list of complaints is surprising to me and I’ve taken it all on voluntarily.  I can’t even fix the sleep issues because I’m too big of a wuss to let C cry and I flat-out don’t have the time or desire to read one of the several sleep books available.  But my list of “issues” isn’t even what really bothers me.  My problem is the guilt I feel for being frustrated about any of it.  The guilt that comes from knowing I should be thankful everyday, for every moment I get with my husband and my kids but finding myself, at the end of each day, wondering if I’m actually looking forward to getting up the next morning and doing it all over again.  I wanted my kids.  I pined for them.  I prayed for them.  And they are both more precious to me than anything else I’ve ever known and I would do just about anything to see them happy.  I’ve known the heartbreak of loss and I know what it’s like to wonder what my life would look like if I hadn’t lost the twins.  I know what it’s like to long for a moment with them, no matter the circumstances, to be able to touch them, to hold them, to tell them I love them…to know them…if only for a moment.  I know what it’s like to beg for a glimpse into what life could have been like if things had gone differently.

I feel awful…so damn guilty for complaining about any part of my current life.  And I feel like a horrible mother and a horrible person for not being able to be joyful in every moment in every day…especially where C is concerned since I was so fearful of her not getting her at all.  I sometimes find myself fearful that something else tragic is going to happen…wondering if I didn’t learn my lesson wholly the first time around.  I desperately need something to lighten my mood…something to relieve some of the tension I constantly feel.  Someone or something to take some of this weight off my shoulders.  I took A and C to the mall yesterday to play on the indoor playground.  On the way out, I passed a double stroller with 2 matching carseats (black and white damask with hot pink trim) each holding a teeny-tiny, sleeping baby girl.  It was as close to tears that I’ve come in quite some time and my heart still hurts thinking about it.  I’ve managed to avoid seeing a brand-new set of twin girls for over a year and my first encounter just came at the wrong time.

Tomorrow

Tomorrow is a big day.  Tomorrow, the Hubs and I will celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary.  We got married young, the summer between our Junior and Senior year in college.  We were both 21.  We felt it fitting to mark our 10 year anniversary with this decision.

The past 10 years have been nothing short of exciting and to say we’ve both grown immensely would be an understatment.  We’ve had opportunities to do some amazing things, we’ve taken some great vacations and we’ve been through some serious rough patches, albeit very recently.  The majority of the past 10 years has been nothing short of amazing.  I don’t really have much to complain about.  But there’s been something missing.  There’s always been something missing.  Tonight, the sun will set on the life we’ve known for the better part of those 10 years.  The sun will go down, for good, on a seemingly predictable and safe future.  The sun will rise tomorrow marking not only a new day, but a whole new life for us.  One that we both believe has been in the works for a very long time, but only began to reveal itself to us over the last 18 months or so.  The Hubs will be resigning his current position which he’s held for close to 4 years.  He’ll be leaving the employer he’s been with for almost 8 years.  It’s a HUGE step.  He has not and will not be accepting a position with another employer.  He will be delving in, full force, going balls to the wall to make his small company a success.  Tomorrow marks the dawn of a new era.  I will continue my role as a stay at home mom, raising our 2 girls until the time is right for me to launch a small business of my own.  We won’t have any income coming in (until he starts making money on his own) and will be living off money that we have saved over the past 3 years.  Money that we couldn’t have saved if it hadn’t been for Dave Ramsey’s class, Financial Peace University, almost 3 years ago which I was firmly against.  I’m so very thankful for my husband’s gentle but firm stance that we needed to attend this class; he was aware of my sensitivity to the subject of money, but never relented.  It has changed the course of our lives.  We didn’t know what we were saving for, we were simply…saving.  There have been several big-ticket items we’ve wanted to purchase recently yet neither of us could pull the trigger.  I’m thankful for gut feelings and discretion and wisdom.  We’ve created and agreed to a budget that will allow this savings to carry us for many months and give him ample time to ramp-up his business.  If, at the end of the agreed upon time, the business is not performing as we desire, he will then seek full-time employment elsewhere.  In the mean-time he’ll be self-employed.

There is, of course, a certain amount of nervousness to all of this.  I keep telling myself there would be something wrong with the person that WASN’T nervous.  If you say it out loud, what we’re doing, it sounds crazy.  Truthfully though, we’ve looked at this every way possible.  Multiple times.  This is not a decision we’ve come to easily nor has the decision been made light-heartedly.  We have also sought the counsel of many people we respect in our lives.  We recognize the many sacrifices it will require.  If we want to make a go at this, this is how it has to be.  All in.  No questions.  One job and only one job.  He can’t make it work on a part-time basis.  Not with his travel schedule and the demands of his current position.  Not to mention he’s been increasingly unhappy in his current position and while he didn’t do anything wrong (it’s on permanent record with the company that he’s in no way violating company policy) by starting a business on the side, his current manager was less than thrilled when she learned about it.  There are also many signs his current division is in trouble.  All signs point to this being the right call.  While the seed for entrepreneurship was planted long, long ago, we started to see its growth while on vacation last summer, after the twins died.  If it hadn’t been for them dying, I’m about 99% sure we wouldn’t be where we are now.

So this is my last post as the wife of a traveling salesman.  As the stay at home mom while my husband brings home the bacon.  Going forward, it will be a joint effort to make this ship sail.  Granted, he’ll do most of the heavy lifting, but I’m sure I’ll be needed somewhere.  And before too long, I’m hoping to start my own thing that’s been in the works.  I know this isn’t true, but this really feels like my first experience with true faith.  I don’t know what’s on the other side…the unknown has always been scary to me.  But there’s something nudging me forward, something telling me to press on and to stay the course, and amidst all the nervousness, I recognize a peaceful feeling telling me this is the right move.  Although it’s often shrouded in the fear.  I’ve accepted the fact that even though this is the right move, it may not turn out how we want, but that’s not for us to decide.  All we can do is act and work our tails off.  To the life I’d grown too comfortable in yet provided me with so much to be thankful for I’d like to say, “Thanks.  It’s been an awesome ride.  I’ve had ups.  I’ve had downs.  I’ve had more ups than I’ve had downs.  I’ve made lots of mistakes, some of which were fun and I’ve grown into a woman who would be unrecognizable to the young bride I was 10 years ago.  I’m thankful, for it all, but I’m ready to move on.  To see what’s on the other side.  I’m ready to close the curtain and see what happens next.”

I’ll see you all on the other side.

xoxo,

B

 WMFlorida 2009 013

How fast can we run?

Pursue your passions; chase your dreams.

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, or you just found me and have taken some time to read through my past posts, you know that my husband and I have been on quite the journey over the last 12ish months.  I assume we’ve actually been on the journey much longer than that, being prepared for this time, but it feels like we were just brought into the loop, so to speak, only recently.  Baby C will be 1 month old tomorrow.  To say the last 4 weeks have been busy would be an understatement.  Much has happened and we’re getting ready to make some big changes.

Long story short, the Hubs’ current employer and he are not seeing eye to eye.  They haven’t been seeing eye to eye for quite some time, but it only recently got to a breaking point.  While not trying to hide or conceal his side business, he didn’t go around his current employer’s work place promoting it…that would have been in clear conflict with his current position.  His manager stumbled upon his site, and it has been an uphill battle ever since.  She’s a control freak and decided what he was doing on the side was an “obvious” conflict of interest and clearly he should have obtained prior approval before delving into such an endeavour.  I could go on and on about the absurdities that have transpired over the last few weeks, the poor handling of the whole thing and the ridiculousness that is his manager, but that isn’t the point of this post.  The truth is, for a few days, where we truly thought the Hubs was going to be fired for violating company policy, we were a little freaked.  I should probably mention this all unfolded on 3/22.  We were supposed to hear back from his manager and a decision from HR on 3/23 (the anniversary of the day we lost the twins).  We didn’t hear anything and got to sit and think about everything and come up with every possible outcome on 3/24 and 3/25 (the anniversary of their births).  This is all smack-dab in the middle of the 2 weeks he was SUPPOSED to be on vacation/paternity leave.  The timing of this whole ordeal is nothing short of poetic.  We received the decision from the ethics department yesterday, which was totally in our favor.  His side company is in no way a conflict of interest.  There was no reason for him to get approval from his manager and they’ve noted it in his permanent file so it will never have to be discussed again.  His website, that he had taken down a few weeks ago until this was resolved, was put back up last night.  As I write, he’s only moments away from a conference call his manager scheduled this morning to discuss the decision from the Ethics department.  No idea what she wants or how this conversation will end.

We’ve had a lot of time to think and to process over the last few weeks.  Emotions have been running high and we’ve talked ad nauseam about all the possibilities that lie ahead.  The timing is too impossible to ignore.  A year ago we lost the twins.  Almost a year ago the idea for his company started forming.  Last summer the idea for his company, and where we wanted to take our lives was solidified when we went on vacation.  It’s all documented here in my blog and we’re both a little ashamed to admit we haven’t really done much to accomplish the goals we set for ourselves.  The truth is, there is no way Hubs can start a business part-time in his current role.  He’s given it a good effort, but with his travel schedule, he flat-out doesn’t have the time it would take to get his business up and running on a part-time basis.  His dream has been, since childhood, to own his own business.  We’ve been able to spend the last few weeks considering a life style that didn’t include Hubs being gone 3 weeks out of the month.  A life style that included flexibility and the ability to work from home, or Starbucks, or Barnes and Noble.  A life style that allowed Hubs to be present, to make up for lost time in a way.  At the beginning of this whole ordeal, his boss suggested it was probably good he was already on vacation so he could take some time to think about what he really wanted.  That suggestion probably isn’t going to work out in her favor.  She’s called his integrity and commitment into question multiple times over the last few weeks…and he’s just not the type of guy to put up with that; and he shouldn’t have to.

The truth is, we’re currently in a financial position to allow Hubs to quit his job and take a stab at his company on a full-time basis for several months.  And while we have a substantial savings, the idea of him giving up his salary when I don’t work and we have 2 young kids still doesn’t feel like a good choice.  But that certainly doesn’t mean it’s the wrong choice.  In fact, a lot of times, the right decision is the most difficult road to walk.  The decision to leave his current employer has already been made, it’s just a matter of when.  This whole thing has been handled so poorly, and he’s been treated very poorly by his manager with regard to this situation.  It’s not a job he’s willing to stay at when the demands (travel, hours, etc.) are so high.  We’re trying to tie up a few loose ends before he walks away.  The decision of what to do after that is still up in the air.  The options are endless, really, but all boil down to whether or not he looks for another full-time gig or gives his business a go on a full-time basis and see where we end up in a few months.

We’re viewing this as an opportunity.  We’ve been given the opportunity to look at our options and see that yes, he can walk away from his current job and we’ll be ok for “x” amount of time.  We’ve been given the opportunity to think about what could be.  It’s not some far-off dream at this point, but more of an attainable reality.  So.  Are we willing to take the plunge?  Are we willing to take that step of faith?  How fast can we run to chase our dreams?